Congress lashes out at govt over depleted Mhadei river basin




Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Girish Chodankar on Sunday, lashing out at the state government over Mhadei issue, alleged that BJP and its leaders were responsible for reduction in water in the Mhadei river basin, which has affected Goa.

Reacting to the admittance of Chief Minister Pramod Sawant that water level of Mhadei basin has reduced, Girish said that it is evident that BJP government in the state was trying to hoodwink people on Mhadei issue.

“It is strange when the Chief Minister says that out-of-court settlement is not possible over the dispute with Karnataka, when the neighbouring state is also ruled by the BJP and at the Centre too,” he stated.

“There was a report by NIO saying Mhadei water will reduce if it is diverted. The Chief Minister should bring this report in public domain if he cares about Mhadei river and Goa,” he added. 

He said the government should accept the mistake that the government initially failed to tackle the issue, rather than now admitting that water is reduced in Mhadei basin, adding, Goans are well aware that BJP has compromised on Mhadei.

He was addressing the media on the issue along with vice presidents M K Shaikh and Dharma Chodankar.

Girish further alleged that the BJP government has announced 10,000 jobs to influence Goan youth, especially young voters, with an eye on Zilla Panchayat elections

He said the Chief Minister should first release doles being availed of by people under social welfare schemes and then talk about employing 10,000 unemployed youth.

He said if the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant is capable of employing 10,000 unemployed youth by making provision of Rs 350 crore annually in the budget it shows that the government has enough funds.

Hence, he said that “the government should clear all the pending doles since last 8 months under social security welfare schemes like Laadli Laxmi, Griha Aadhar and others, and then think of providing jobs to the unemployed youth.”

He also wondered that on one hand the government was taking huge loans to pay salaries to the existing 55,000 government employees, while on the other hand the Chief Minister was promising jobs to unemployed youth.

He said that “all this was being done in the wake of forthcoming Zilla Panchayat elections. Also the Chief Minister was promising to resume ore mining operations in the state and even the ex-chief ministers went on promising the people but till date there has been no sign of mining resumption.”

On ZP elections, he said that “we (Congress) are not against the ZP election but it should not be conducted at the cost of peoples’ safety. If it is certain that 70-80 per cent of voters will turn out to cast vote then only ZP election be conducted.”

Meanwhile, Anjeli Fernandes Dhabal, wife of ex-state minister of Jharkhand Vishal Dhabal, joined Congress party along with 200 people on Sunday.

GPCC chief welcomed her along with others at the Congress house. Anjeli Fernandes Dhabal vowed to strengthen the Congress base in Panaji.